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Snow removal delayed in Waddington

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WADDINGTON — Calling the recent weather “an unusual event,” the village board decided this week not to spend money on new snow and ice removal equipment to clear its sidewalks.

The recent packing on of snow and ice on the village sidewalks has been too heavy for snowblowers to remove, Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said.

The village Department of Public Works recently borrowed equipment from the St. Lawrence County Department of Highways to clear the sidewalks, which, until Tuesday, had not been completely cleared since before December’s ice storm.

In some areas of the village, board member William E. Dashnaw said, he had to use a small excavator to remove some of the compacted layers of snow and ice.

The village considered purchasing a loader at a cost of up to $150,000.

“This is very unusual circumstance out here,” Mr. Dashnaw said.

“I think as far as that specialty work that we do, you are better off renting equipment. If you purchase equipment, you are obligated to take care of maintenance.”

Another option was to create an ordinance that requires residents to clear their own sidewalks.

“The problem is that people here are used to having them clean,” Councilman William L. Shoen said.

But Mr. Dashnaw said sharing services was the most economical option. He said while nearby villages and towns might be unable to share their equipment after intense storms, the St. Lawrence County Highway Department often has extra machines available for use.

“Lot of the time you need to take a look at what the county has,” Mr. Dashnaw said. “A while ago many people were looking for graders, while the county had four graders just sitting there. All you usually would have to pay is an hourly rental fee.”

Ms. Otto-Cassada said she will talk to nearby towns and the county to see how to go about renting equipment in the future.

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